One of Wales’ top semiconductor companies will create 200 new jobs as part of a $100 million (£81 million) investment in a new facility in Newport.

SPTS Technologies plans to hire an additional 200 employees at its new headquarters in Newport’s Celtic Lakes, bringing its total workforce to 750 as part of major growth plans.

The new facility, which will be located near the firm’s existing operations, will house high-tech manufacturing, research and development, and offices totaling 210,000 square feet.

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The facility’s construction is expected to be completed in early 2025, in advance of fit-out work.

SPTS, a subsidiary of the US conglomerate KLA Corporation, has already signed a development deal with Trebor to build the new facility on land purchased from the Welsh government.

Trebor has appointed Andrew Scott as the main contractor.

The Welsh Government has stated that it will assist SPTS with the new development by upgrading infrastructure at the Celtic Lakes site, which also houses other semiconductor companies such as Vantage, IQE, and Catapult, as well as offering skills development to create a pipeline of staff available to take up the new jobs and developing local supply chains.

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Following a trade visit to California’s Silicon Valley, where he met the company’s CEO, Rick Wallace, and other members of the executive team, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething reaffirmed Welsh Government support for the business.

Mr. Gething said: “We are serious about backing a semiconductor sector that will drive up growth, create jobs and lower costs for consumers. Wales is a global player in the industry that deserves the backing of UK plc as a whole.

“Newport’s compound semiconductor and technology cluster supports hundreds of well-paid jobs in an industry that powers the technologies people across the globe rely on to live their lives.

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“During my visit to California’s Silicon Valley, I promoted Wales’ reputation as a nation with a thriving semiconductor cluster and our determination to keep it that way.

“The Welsh Government is now progressing plans at pace to allow KLA to expand its operations in Newport, which we expect to unlock hundreds of new jobs – supporting our ambition to create new green jobs in the industries of the future.”

Mr. Gething also called on the UK Government to “get on the pitch” with a fully-funded plan for the semiconductor sector that matched the ambition of global competitors and protected Welsh and British jobs. He warned that the UK is falling behind the ambitious mission set in the USA, which is a national priority for the Biden administration.

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Mr. Gething said: “It’s time for the UK Government to get on the pitch with a plan that matches the commitment of our global partners.

“The new Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology has a great opportunity to bring forward some good news and much needed certainty for the industry by publishing a new strategy that’s fit for the future. We are ready to work in partnership to make this happen.”

Nexperia, the Chinese-backed owner of Newport Wafer Fab, announced last week that if the UK Government effectively blocks its takeover, its business could close, resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs.

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On national security concerns, the UK government has ordered Nexperia, which is headquartered in the Netherlands but is owned by China’s Wingtech, to sell the plant. In 2021, the business took over the site on Cardiff Road in Duffryn.

Nexperia announced that it has filed a judicial review of the UK Government’s ruling, which will be heard in the coming weeks.

Source:   Business Live

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